Spartacus: War of the Damned - Production Team
STEVEN S. DEKNIGHT – Creator, Executive Producer
ROB TAPERT – Executive Producer
Steven S. DeKnight received an undergraduate degree in theater arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA in dramatic writing from UCLA. He went on to write, produce and direct for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Smallville," and "Dollhouse." DeKnight is currently developing "Incursion," an epic science fiction action-thriller, as part of his overall deal with STARZ.
SAM RAIMI – Executive Producer
Rob Tapert is the producing partner of acclaimed director Sam Raimi. Tapert and Raimi met at Michigan State University, where they formed the Society for Creative Filmmaking. After producing the horror cult classic The Evil Dead, Tapert collaborated with Raimi on Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, Darkman, Army of Darkness, The Gift, and The Quick and the Dead. He served as executive producer on the action features Hard Target and Timecop, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. He also executive produced the long-running worldwide TV series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess."
In 2002, Tapert and Raimi formed Ghost House Pictures with Mandate Pictures. Ghost House was conceived to produce feature films that would deliver great scares and offer horror fans a thrill-ride experience. Tapert has since produced number-one box-office hits such as the critically acclaimed Drag Me to Hell, The Grudge (which grossed $187 million worldwide), Boogeyman, The Messengers, and 30 Days of Night. In 2009, Tapert produced Raimi's first directorial effort under Ghost House.
He recently executive produced the TV series "The Legend of the Seeker" for Disney-ABC domestic TV and ABC Studios.
JOSHUA DONEN – Executive Producer
Sam Raimi is known for his imaginative filmmaking style and offbeat sense of humor. Sam Raimi first achieved fame as the writer and director of the cult classic The Evil Dead and the equally impressive Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, and he completed and reinvented the trilogy with Army of Darkness.
Raimi is currently directing Oz: The Great and Powerful for Disney, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams. The film is slated for a summer 2013 release.
He directed the Spider-Man trilogy franchise, which broke international box-office records and garnered five Academy Award nominations. Raimi's critically acclaimed suspense thriller A Simple Plan received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for Billy Bob Thornton, who starred in the film. The director's additional film credits include The Gift, Darkman, and The Quick and the Dead. He also executive produced John Woo's Hard Target and co-wrote, with Joel and Ethan Coen, The Hudsucker Proxy.
CHLOE SMITH – Producer
Joshua Donen is currently in post-production on Oz: The Great and Powerful for Disney. He also produced Priest and Armored for Sony Pictures, The Great White Hype for 20th Century Fox, and The Quick and The Dead for TriStar.
He is also in production on the first season of "House of Cards," the first original programming made for Netflix.
Previously, Donen was an agent, where he served as co-head of the Motion Picture Literary Department at Creative Artists Agency. He represented directors such as: David Fincher, Sam Raimi, Tom Tykwer, Mark Romanek, Darren Aronofsky, Joel Schumacher, and James Foley.
IAIN AITKEN – Production Designer
Chloe Smith has worked in the New Zealand screen production industry for over 25 years and counts Jane Campion's The Piano and Chris Graham's Sione's Wedding as her two favorite feature participations. Apart from a brief foray into costume management on The Last Samurai, the past 15 years have resulted in a long and successful working relationship with executive producer Rob Tapert and the delivery of 400 hours of film and TV production that began with "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," "Xena: Warrior Princess," "Legend of the Seeker," and 30 Days of Night.
BARBARA DARRAGH - Costume Designer
Iain Aitken began his career in theater, working as head of design for Theater Corporate in Auckland. During his tenure, Aitken simultaneously developed ties with Mercury Theater and the National Opera of New Zealand. He ventured from New Zealand in 1985, traveling through Melbourne, New York, and Toronto to work as a freelance designer in theater and opera. He has since transferred his talents to the film industry.
Aitken has been acknowledged for his success as production designer for features such as Sylvia, He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, and most recently, Separation City.
ALLAN POPPLETON - Key Stunt and Fight Supervisor
Barbara Darragh has a distinguished career in costume design for feature films and major television projects. She has won awards in her New Zealand homeland for River Queen, directed by Vincent Ward; The End of the Golden Weather, directed by Ian Mune; and the historical television mini-series drama "Greenstone." She designed the costumes for such feature films as Peter Jackson's The Frighteners, which starred Michael J. Fox, Bridge to Terabithia, The Man Who Lost His Head, Eye of the Storm, and The Last Tattoo.
Darragh was the original designer for the five original "Hercules" telemovies and the first series of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."
JOSEPH LODUCA - Music Composer
Allan Poppleton has worked in the Film/TV industry for over 17 years, both in New Zealand and internationally with Oscar winning/nominated directors James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Andrew Adamson, Oliver Stone, and Peter Jackson. He has two Taurus World Stunt Nominations: "Best Stunt Coordination" for his work on James Cameron's Avatar and "Best Fight" for Prince Caspian. His work on Spartacus 'Gods of the Arena' saw Allan nominated for an EMMY and a SAG award in 2011. Allan is presently Stunt Coordinating The Wolverine in Sydney.
CHARLIE MCCLELLAN - Executive Visual Effects Supervisor
Joseph LoDuca completed his formal training in jazz and classical music at the University of Michigan and in New York City. During this time, he plunged into jazz culture and submerged himself in music from around the world. LoDuca found himself choosing composition over performance, as composing allowed him to run freely among the disciplines. Since the time when a friend first suggested that he would be good at scoring films, LoDuca has been awarded a number of Primetime Emmys, 11 nominations, numerous ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards, and was named horror film composer of the year for Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness.
DENISE KUM - Makeup, Hair and Prosthetics Designer
Charlie McClellan is an Auckland based visual-effects supervisor with 16 years of experience in the industry.
In 2010, McClellan won the Qantas Film and Television Award in New Zealand Best Visual Effects on the film Under the Mountain. His television credits include the ABC syndicated series "Legend of the Seeker."
He served as visual-effects producer at Weta Digital for R&D and preproduction of the visual effects for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Other film credits include The Frighteners, Contact (unaccredited), Whale Rider, and Perfect Creature.
Denise Kum's feature film credits include, Death Defying Acts, North Country, Aeon Flux, In My Father's Den and Whalerider. As a freelance makeup artist she has worked on numerous films including Maleficent, Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Clash of The Titans, Sherlock Holmes and The Last Samurai. Initially a sculptor, Denise studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts and later completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the prestigious Goldsmiths College.